Eye Contact

Rattling along underground in a vicious humour, all around me are temporarily like me; none can see the blue of the sky. The tube disgorges beneath Kings-Cross and we all barrel out, the stick-wavers, the 20-20s and me. There’s probably some of my kin around too, but we never make eye contact, head for the city. There’s a city in all of our eyes, great towers of rhodopsin raising up, the rods and the cones, an empty city that collapses at the touch of light. In my city the architect’s plans went awry, or he lacked imagination and my city looks all samey, not enough variety in those towering discs. As in the eye, so in the world and my world, outside the vitreous humour (if it’s really there) also has lost something from that failure; colour. I look at those clouds and they’re white, but I look at the blue sky beyond them, and I know it’s blue, it has to be because every book I’ve read talks about it, every romantic pome praises that cerulean floating sea… to me it could be green, or grey or pink or purple. No idea. If I was making a new colour wheel, I’d put it under the lurid category – cos that’s what all of the archetypes of those colours feel like to me. I’m blessed though; for at least I see it, unlike those poor stick-wavers who, for all their avowed, angry independence always look terrified by the tube, which lets no man take his time, as they stagger out of the carriages, one hand clutching for support one hand waving that attenna they all carry, as a warning and an aid, their replacement eyes extending a massive meter away from them. At least I’ve an inkling what blue is; the city of their eyes is desolate, abandoned, unresponsive, cut-off; their city outside must be beyond their comprehension.

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